If there’s one thing we wish phone manufacturers would just stop doing, it’s putting “skins” over the standard Android OS. These skins are often ugly, often hamper how the phone itself operates, and are just generally a massive inconvenience. Google seems to agree: It’s about to start selling the HTC One the way it was meant to be used.
Speaking at the D11 conference, Google’s Sundar Pichai confirmed what we all want to hear:
At Google I/O we announced a Google take on Android for Galaxy S4. We thought that was a small step in a good direction. I’m carrying an HTC One in my pocket. This is running the core UI on Nexus phones as well… It’s going to be available on Google Play on June 26.
Man, finally. We would not trade the openness of Android for anything: It’s allowed the operating system to spread everywhere from game consoles to tablets to computers. Some amazing things are being built on Android and it will probably help bridge the gap between tablet, phone, and computer in the near future.
At the same time, though, phone manufacturers often don’t “modify” Android for their purposes so much as “deliberately break it for stupid reasons.” Anybody who has bought a smartphone in the last few years has experienced the annoyance of trying to get rid of some stupid app you will never use, but that the carrier or the manufacturer desperately wants on your home screen. And they stubbornly refuse to accept that nobody wants this: Heck, Samsung has built an entire OS around the idea that you very much want, say, Verizon’s off-brand version of Snapchat or whatever.
So being able to use these phones without problems is a welcome change of pace. Of course, you’ll pay for the privilege: The unlocked, untainted HTC One will cost $600. But that’s a small price to pay to never see an off-brand app again.